ADA —The Ohio Northern women's basketball maintained a 21-point first half lead to defeat Albion (Mich.) 62-53 in its season opener at the ONU Sports Center on Tuesday night.
ONU starts the season 1-0, while the Britons fall to 0-1.
Junior Morgan Dumbaugh had team-highs of 19 points and eight rebounds to lead the Polar Bears in the victory.
Patty Rewa, Albion's returning scoring and rebounding leader, picked up 28 points and 16 boards to help the Britons' effort.
Leading 13-12 with 10:16 left in the first half, a three-pointer by junior Marissa Clark sparked a 20-0 run for the Polar Bears, a span in which seven different ONU players scored.
Clark and sophomore Cenzie Yoder each connected on a pair of free throws to make the lead 33-12 at the 1:02 mark, before Albion finally scored in the last minute of the half.
ONU took a 35-14 lead into the break, largely thanks to an 18-3 differential in points off turnovers.
The Britons battled back in the second half, starting the period on a 23-6 run to cut the deficit to six points, the lowest of the half, at the 11:35 mark before ONU again took control of the game.
Junior Joanna Snyder scored four straight points for ONU before Dumbaugh added six straight of her own.
Sophomore Sara Kocian followed with a trey to give Northern a 57-41 lead with 6:37 left.
The teams went back and forth for the remainder of the game, but a bucket by Rewa in the final second cut the ONU lead back into single digits, at 62-53.
ONU's defense was active all night, forcing 25 Albion turnovers (compared to 13 for ONU), thanks to four steals by Yoder and three from junior Katie Mengos.
Mengos also added seven boards and five assists in a solid all-around effort, while Snyder earned 16 points and six boards to help ONU.
ONU went 22-of-59 from the field (37.3 percent), while the Britons went 16-of-50 (32.0 percent).
Albion held the advantage in the free throw and rebounding categories, with 17-of-22 from the line (77.3 percent) and 46 rebounds, compared to 13-of-19 (68.4 percent) and 33 boards for ONU.
Northern was also better in transition, outscoring the Britons 11-2 on the fast break.
The Polar Bears will be back in action this weekend, as they host the Sodexo Classic. ONU has games slated against Transylvania (Ky.) at 6 p.m. on Friday and against Hanover (Ind.) at 3 p.m. on Saturday.